AMERICAN CHEESE MONTH - Shepherd's Way Farms
October is American Cheese Month and we're definitely in a celebrating mood! We're proud to feature the hard work of Jodi, Steven and their family at Shepherd's Way Farms. Shepherd's Way is a prime example of the passion and drive that our wonderful cheesemaking community exhibits. They started their farm with a small flock of dairy sheep in 1994, introducing their first farmstead cheese in 1998. In 2002 they won their first American Cheese Society award and in 2004, they were invited to represent the United States at the first Terra Madre Conference, sponsored by Slow Foods International. Tragedy struck in January 2005 when a fire destroyed their animal housing barn and more than 500 sheep. The agricultural, dairy and cheese communities rallied around the family and helped them persevere through this extremely difficult time. In 2011, Shepherd's Way was able to resume full production and we all rejoiced! Help us celebrate how far they've come and how much they mean to the community at large. We're grateful they were able to turn the page on such a painful chapter and continue to make some of the finest cheeses in the country.
Big and beefy, Big Wood's Blue is creamy with an irresistible sharpness that is undeniably blue. However, blue cheese skeptics should not be afraid because the inherent richness of the sheep's milk perfectly balances the cheese's intensity.
Friesago is Shepherd's Way's take on an Asiago. Made from pasteurized sheep's milk, this natural-rinded wheel has a dense texture, and a mild, balanced flavor with hints of nuts and grass.
Also on promotion, Ragged Point from our friends at Stepladder Creamery. Located on the central coast of California, Stepladder Ranch was founded in 1871 and has been family-owned and operated for three generations. After a brief career in the tech industry, cheesemaker Jack Rudolph took the ranch over from his grandfather and built a creamery and dairy. In addition to pigs, avocados and citrus trees, the ranch is now home to 35 LaMancha goats who provide the milk for Stepladder's farmstead cheeses. The creamery also works with cow's milk from a small, local mixed herd of Jerseys and Holsteins.
Named for the gateway to Big Sur, Ragged Point is a bloomy-rinded triple crème cow's milk cheese. Although a distinct cream line forms as the cheese matures, the interior paste stays firm. The cheese takes on flavors of mushroom and pepper, making it the perfect foil for apples and honey.
And to round out your perfect promotional cheese plate, domestic prosciutto and charcuterie from Casella! Made in the customary style of the norcini butchers, Casella uses free-range heritage breed pigs, salt and time to make his famous prosciutto. Aged in a state-of-the-art curing facility, the meat is marbled and juicy, having been cured slowly, on the bone, until it has achieved traditional standards.
Finocchiona is traditionally made using equal parts lean pork meat-often from the shoulder-and the firm fat from the pigs jowl. These ingredients are then ground and seasoned with salt, ground black pepper, garlic, wine, and fennel seed.
Soppressata is a dry-cured, fermented sausage found throughout Italy. Made only with the leg, Soppressata Dolce (sweet) is fantastic for slicing for a panini or added to your antipasto platter. The meat is coarsely ground, giving it an uneven, rustic appearance when sliced.
From the South of Italy comes a spicy addition to the Casella's line up. Soppressata Piccante gets its name from the region of Calabria, known for its super hot and flavorful chili peppers. The meat is coarsely ground, giving it an uneven, rustic appearance when sliced.
Wabash Cannonball from Capriole Cheese
Monroe from Roth Cellars
Ewereka from Central Coast Creamery
Landaff from Landaff Creamery